The human rights situation in Bahrain remains a matter of concern. Although progress has been made in certain areas, there continue to be instances of violations of fundamental freedoms, including the targeting of human rights defenders.
Respect for human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy and we consistently seek to raise our concerns on human rights issues through the most appropriate and effective channels. Our active participation at the UN Human Rights Council is particularly important and Ireland regularly raises the case of human rights in Bahrain at that forum, both in national statements and in our support of EU Statements.
Our principled stance on human rights feeds into our bilateral dialogue. When I met the Bahraini Foreign Minister at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, I made a point of raising the human rights situation directly with him, expressing the hope that we can have an open and honest discussion on these issues. In addition, officials from my Department meet regularly with advocacy groups and Bahraini human rights defenders to discuss the situation in Bahrain.
Since 2012, Ireland has signed five joint statements at the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Bahrain, which expressed concern on a number of fronts including the mistreatment of detainees and the arbitrary deprivation of nationality without due process. No decision has yet been taken on national or EU interventions at the next session of the the Human Rights Council, which will commence in late February 2020. When planning for this session, we will consider carefully which priorities to set, with a view to focusing the weight of Ireland's efforts, and the Council's attention, on the most grave and troubling situations globally.
Ireland will continue to monitor developments in Bahrain, and to call on the Bahraini Government to deliver on its stated commitment to make progress in relation to human rights. We shall do so both directly with Bahraini officials, as well as at EU and international level, including at the Human Rights Council, whenever opportunities arise.